Mobon of Goguryeo

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Mobon of Goguryeo
Hangul 모본왕
Hanja 慕本王
Revised Romanization Mobon-wang
McCune–Reischauer Mobon-wang
Birth name
Hangul 해우 or 애루 or 막래
Hanja 解憂 or 愛婁 or 莫來
Revised Romanization Hae U or Aeru or Mangnae
McCune–Reischauer Hae U or Aeru
Monarchs of Korea
Goguryeo
  1. King Chumo 37-19 BCE
  2. King Yuri 19 BCE-18 CE
  3. King Daemusin 18-44
  4. King Minjung 44-48
  5. King Mobon 48-53
  6. King Taejodae 53-146
  7. King Chadae 146-165
  8. King Sindae 165-179
  9. King Gogukcheon 179-197
  10. King Sansang 197-227
  11. King Dongcheon 227-248
  12. King Jungcheon 248-270
  13. King Seocheon 270-292
  14. King Bongsang 292-300
  15. King Micheon 300-331
  16. King Gogug-won 331-371
  17. King Sosurim 371-384
  18. King Gogug-yang 384-391
  19. King Gwanggaeto 391-413
  20. King Jangsu 413-490
  21. King Munja 491-519
  22. King Anjang 519-531
  23. King An-won 531-545
  24. King Yang-won 545-559
  25. King Pyeong-won 559-590
  26. King Yeong-yang 590-618
  27. King Yeong-nyu 618-642
  28. King Bojang 642-668

King Mobon of Goguryeo (30 - 53, r. 48-53) was the fifth king of Goguryeo, the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.

Background and reign[edit]

According to the Samguk Sagi, a 12th-century Korean history of the Three Kingdoms, Mobon was the eldest son of Goguryeo's third king Daemusin. Although Mobon was the crown prince at the time of Daemusin's death, because of Mobon's youth, Daemusin's younger brother Minjung ascended to the throne. Mobon became king upon Minjung's death. However, in the Samguk Yusa, Mobon is described as Minjung's older brother.

The Samguk Sagi notes that Mobon's character was fierce and stubborn and he incurred the resentment of the common people. In 49, he attacked the Beiping, Yuyang, Shanggu, and Taiyuan, Commanderies of Han Dynasty, several times, but later signed a treaty with Han.

He was killed by a court official named Duro, from Mobon. He was buried in Mobon-won.

He named his son Ik the crown prince, but upon Mobon's death, there was a power struggle for the throne. Some scholars believe that Mobon was the last of the Hae surname line that began with Goguryeo's second king Yuri, and the sixth king Taejo began the Go surname lineage (then retroactively attributing the Go surname to the founding monarch Jumong).

Controversy surrounding later reign[edit]

Many of the main Korean sources, such as the Samguk Sagi and Samguk Yusa, state that King Mobon was a great king who thought for his people initially, but turned into a ruthless tyrant in the later part of his reign. However, in observing the events that are mentioned in the same Korean sources, such things as the opening of all food storages to relieve the people of their hunger and destitution and the expansion of territories are mentioned, which are not acts that are characteristic of a tyrant. With this in mind, some scholars suspect that the records and public image of King Mobon may have been an attempt by the supporters of Taejo of Goguryeo to justify their coup de'tat. These scholars further support the theory that the difference in last names in the early Goguryeo rulers is due to a shift in power among the Five Noble Families.

See also[edit]